BTVI delays professional development course in renewable energy

BTVI President, Robert Robertson.

Bahamas Technical Vocational Institute (BTVI) has postponed solar certification classes they planned to commence next week until a later date according to BTVI President Dr. Robert Robertson.

“We did have a professional development course we were going to offer to start next week in solar, but we’ve just delayed it because it tied into other courses; part of a full semester programme,” Dr. Robertson explained to Eyewitness News Thursday.

“So we decided to run that course in January instead.”

Dr. Robertson said there would really be no advantage in a program for a few weeks.

“We could run a professional development short course on solar installation but our sense in talking to a variety of different parties is that it’s linked to other things. It’s a little more complicated,” he noted.

“Rather than just a ‘one off’, it’s better to include it in a programme, rather than just like one course – here’s how to do solar.”

He informed Eyewitness News that BTVI is trying to stay the course globally as schools around the world have put it in a larger framework.

According to BTVI’s President, at the moment, there are no schools in The Bahamas that cater to a full development program in the study of renewable energy.

“There’s nothing happening in The Bahamas to my knowledge with respect to solar… we (BTVI) will get there, however,” he said.

“We have some solar panels; we’ve got some faculties that are being trained up to be certified to deliver it properly – which was also an issue. Many Bahamians have expressed interest in the professional development course. We have a number of students that are interested.

“We want to do it right when we start it; by qualified people then pass on that type of certification to that person.”

Dr. Robertson stressed the fact that all teachers being trained in solar development are Bahamians and only Bahamian teachers will teach the course despite interest from facilitators in Canada and the United States (U.S.).

After extensive meetings with different government entities such as the Utilities Regulation & Competition Authority (URCA), the Ministry of Public Works, and a brief conversation with the Ministry of Education about the quality and integrity of the development programme, Dr. Robinson noted that all entities support the move.

“… [They] said to just do it right and in the proper context, which is what we plan to do,” he said.